Israel Numismatic Research

Published by the Israel Numismatic Society

Volume 2 2007

3 Editors’ Note
5 ARIE KINDLER: The History of the Israel Numismatic Society
17 OREN TAL: Coin Denominations and Weight Standards in Fourth Century BCE
29 YIGAL RONEN: Twenty Unrecorded Samarian Coins
35 JAROS£AW BODZEK: Remarks on the Iconography of Samarian Coinage.
Hunting in Paradeisos?
47 HAIM GITLER, OREN TAL and PETER VAN ALFEN: Silver Dome-shaped Coins
from Persian-period Southern Palestine
63 CATHARINE C. LORBER: The Ptolemaic Mint of Ras Ibn Hani
77 OLIVER D. HOOVER: A Seleucid Coinage of Demetrias by the Sea
89 JEAN-PHILIPPE FONTANILLE: Two Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins
93 DAVID M. JACOBSON: Military Helmet or Dioscuri Motif on Herod the Great’s
Largest Coin?
103 URIEL RAPPAPORT: Who Minted the Jewish War’s Coins?
117 DANNY SYON: Yet Again on the Bronze Coins Minted at Gamla
123 DAVID HENDIN: Echoes of “Judaea Capta”: The Nature of Domitian’s Coinage
of Judea and Vicinity
131 STEPHEN N. GERSON: A Newly Discovered Bar Kokhba Small Silver Overstruck
on a Judea Capta Denar
133 DAVID AMIT and GABRIELA BIJOVSKY: ANumismatic Update on the Northwestern
Border of the Territory Controlled by Bar Kokhba Rebels
137 ALLA KUSHNIR-STEIN: Two Lead Weights from the Colony of Caesarea
143 GABRIELA BIJOVSKY: AION: A Cosmic Allegory on a Coin from Tyre?
157 NILI AHIPAZ: A Hoard of Byzantine Solidi from the Deir ‘Aziz Synagogue
167 ARIEL BERMAN: An Exceptional Nîzâri Ismâ‘îlî Coinage at Bâniyâs
173 ISSA M. BAIDOUN: An Exotic Ayyûbid Issue
179 Review: Jane DeRose Evans, The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman and
Byzantine Economy of Palestine. Boston 2006 (Bruno Callegher)
187 Abbreviations

The History of the Israel Numismatic Society


Paralleling the growth of the state, the Israel Numismatic Society has greatly developed from its modest beginnings in 1945 as “The Numismatic Section of the Tel Aviv Circle of Amateurs of Antiquities.” Through the efforts and expertise of several people, from collectors to professors, the Society has advanced modern numismatic research in the small country. Several of its exceptional publications and journals continue to broaden our understanding of financial and political events throughout Israel’s ancient and modern history.

Coin Denominations and Weight Standards in Fourth-Century BCE Palestine


Epigraphic material of the fourth century BCE and other written sources are surveyed in order to identify the weight denominations and standards of contemporaneous Palestinian coins. It was found that there were probably local denominational systems and weight standards in the region, and that these were apparently based on the sheqel and its fractions. The Greek (Attic) denominational system and weight standard formerly associated with the coins were probably not known in Palestine.

Twenty Unrecorded Samarian Coins


Twenty unrecorded Samarian coins are presented. Out of the 20 coins, ten are different denominations of previously recorded coins. The attribution of the other ten coins to Samaria is based on the motifs on the coins, as well as on their provenance. These additional Samarian coins add to the great variety of types of Samarian coins. The fact that so many types of coins were minted in such a short period is an interesting enigma.

Remarks on the Iconography of Samarian Coinage. Hunting in Paradeisos?


This study examines a hunting scene on the reverse of a Samarian coin (Meshorer and Qedar 1999:106, No. 123). Depicted is a mounted hunter, wearing Iranian cavalryman’s costume and galloping over the body of a fallen animal (probably a lion or a boar). The general prototype of the scene should be sought in the repertoire of Greco-Persian art, and probably refers to a hunt in the garden precinct called paradeisos.

Silver Dome-shaped Coins from Persian-period Southern Palestine


The paper discusses a so far unknown group of peculiar Athenian-styled Palestinian coins. This group, which includes mainly “drachms” but some “obols” as well, was struck from worn obverse dies (i.e., dies damaged by prolonged use), which were then recut and repolished. As a result, the coins’ obverse in many cases is simply dome-shaped, with no traces of Athena’s head or helmet being recognizable. The coins’ distribution suggests that they circulated in the boundaries of what we define as Edom in the later part of the Persian period and might well have been the silver money mentioned in several of the Edomite ostraca.

The Ptolemaic Mint of Ras Ibn Hani


Bronze coins with a diademed female portrait and the obverse legend BERENIKHS BASILISSHS are reattributed from Tyre, Sidon and Ioppe or Gaza to Ras Ibn Hani, a Ptolemaic stronghold on the Syrian coast near Lattaqiyah (ancient Laodicea ad Mare). The portrait iconography is ambiguous and the fabric of the coins anomalous. But the assemblage of Ptolemaic coin-finds at Ras Ibn Hani supports the attribution of the Berenice bronzes to the reign of Ptolemy III, even as it suggests that the Lagid occupation of the site may have begun earlier.

A Seleucid Coinage of Demetrias by the Sea


The author defends the controversial identification of Demetrias by the Sea as a Seleucid re-foundation of Strato’s Tower in southern Phoenicia. He further suggests that a dated series of drachms of the Seleucid king Demetrius II from an unknown Phoenician mint and marked with the monogram _ should be attributed to Demetrias-Strato’s Tower. The dates link the coinage to the crisis that ensued in Phoenicia and Coele Syria after the murders of Jonathan Apphus and Antiochus VI. The later civic coinage of Demetrias may have drawn its cornucopia type from the drachms of Demetrius II.

Two Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins


This article is dedicated to two new Hasmonean coins which appeared in the market in 2005 and in 2006. One is a Hyrcanus I variant with star symbol and the other is a new lead type of Alexander Jannaeus.

Military Helmet or Dioscuri Motif on Herod the Great’s Largest Coin?


The disputed question of the motif on the obverse of Herod’s largest coin is revisited. There is now general agreement that this motif includes some form of headgear. The various earlier suggestions are examined. The use of pagan symbols on several of Herod’s coins is considered in the context of what we know about Herod’s religious orientation and this issue seems to point toward the meaning of the coin motif.

Who Minted the Jewish War’s Coins?


A well-known incongruity exists between the rivalry and internecine war in Jerusalem during the Jewish War (66–70 CE) and the stable minting of the silver coins (sheqels and their fractions) issued there at the time. We suggest that though the turmoil affected the revolt’s leadership it was not felt in the silver issues because they were minted by a Temple authority mainly for expenditures needed for the Temple’s functioning and maintenance. With regard to the bronze coins, we conclude they were minted independent of the Temple mint and should be attributed to Simon bar Giora.

Yet Again on the Bronze Coins Minted at Gamla


After a recent suggestion to the contrary, the author reasserts his belief that only one obverse and two reverse dies are known for the ‘Gamla’ coins. This is accomplished by superimposing coin images in a computer application, as well as by discussing several aspects of the coins’ production, use and chronology.

Echoes of “Judaea Capta”: The Nature of Domitian’s Coinage of Judea and Vicinity


This article discusses the nature of Domitian’s provincial coinage of Judea and vicinity. Based upon dates of issue and comparison of types, it is suggested that even if these coins do not carry JUDAEA CAPTA legends, they nevertheless are likely to refer to the Roman victory in the Jewish War. Coins with portraits of Domitian struck under Agrippa II and at the city of Pella of the Decapolis, are also discussed in this context.

A Newly Discovered Bar Kokhba Small Silver Overstruck on a Judea Capta Denar


The paper presents a second year Bar Kokhba denar overstruck on an undertype of a relatively scarce “Judea Capta” denar of Vespasian.

A Numismatic Update on the Northwestern Extent of the Territory Controlled by the Bar Kokhba Rebels


The discovery of three “year 2” Bar Kokhba coins at Khirbet el-Burnat (north) and a small bronze coin of Bar Kokhba from the first year of the revolt (132/3 CE) found during excavations in the 1980s at Khirbet Zikhrin, expand by a few kilometers northward the northwestern border of the territory controlled by the Bar Kokhba rebels.

Two Lead Weights from the Colony of Caesarea Maritima


Twin lead weights found in Caesarea are unusual in that they are inscribed in Latin. However, colonial coins of the city provide useful comparisons for the reconstruction of the inscriptions on these weights. This is the first piece of evidence so far for the use of Latin on objects of this kind in the area of Palestine during the Roman period.

AION: ACosmic Allegory on a Coin from Tyre?


The decipherment of a Greek inscription on the reverse of an unpublished Roman provincial coin from Tyre sheds light on the identification of a serpent coiled around an oval object on a well-known coin type. The inscription, reading AION, the allegory of eternal time, suggests this motif reflects cosmic Orphic principles.

A Hoard of Byzantine Solidi from the Deir ‘Aziz Synagogue


A hoard containing 14 solidi dating to the time of Justinian I (527–565 CE) was found in a ceramic juglet in the interstices of the southern wall of the synagogue at Deir ‘Aziz. Since it was found in a public building it was probably the property of the community, and may be viewed as an emergency hoard, deposited in the latter part of Justinian I’s reign.

An Exceptional Nīzāri Ismā‘īlī Coinage at Bāniyās


Attempts of the Nîzâri Ismâ‘îlî sect to seize political power in Syria through terror and the unsuccessful Frankish attempts to capture Damascus made Bâniyâs a focus of events during the twelfth century. The short episode of Bâniyâs under the control of this sect is marked by an unusual black dirham.

An Exotic Ayyūbid Issue


An exotic Ayyûbid coin issue confirms literary sources asserting that an Ayyûbid prince in Yemen claimed to be of Umayyad descent and gave himself caliphal titles on that account.